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LONG    LANCE

The medicine-man^ himself, has always chosen
his own successor. He chooses a boy about
twelve or thirteen years old, for the training which
he must go through is a long and tedious course.,
extending over some ten or fifteen years. The
medicine-man picks out some youth in the tribe
who has shown extraordinary qualities of the mind
and body and in the spiritual realm—especially a
boy who is a leader among his playmates, who
'gets things' easily and who has a keen under-
standing of human nature. He goes to this boy's
parents and asks their permission to take him away
with him and train him for a medicine-man.
Since this is about the highest honour that can
befall a young Indian^ the parents are proud to
hand the boy over to him.

The medicine-man then takes the boy away
with him and remains away about six months.
He takes him into the wilderness of the Rocky
Mountains or out to some secluded spot on the
vast sea of the plains, and there during the long
months of his first trip,, he instructs the boy In the
primary secrets of his mysterious cult.

The first step in the course of training Is to teach
the boy to make his mind stronger than his physi-
cal side—to make his mind master of his body, as
it were. This is accomplished by making him go
without food for many days at a time and under-
go voluntary physical torture without flinching.